Atlanta Community Food Bank Sets Record with Largest Single-Day Food Distribution Amid Rising Hunger

by Ella

New data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reveals a sobering reality: approximately one in eight American families are grappling with food insecurity, representing a 31% increase from the previous year. In 2022, nearly 17 million households found themselves struggling to provide enough food for their loved ones, highlighting the profound economic pressure and inflationary challenges faced by families nationwide.

Kyle Waide, CEO of the Atlanta Community Food Bank, expressed his concerns, stating, “Families are contending with the economic pressure of inflation and grappling with the difficulty of meeting their fundamental needs. More children, seniors, and families are relying on charitable food assistance simply to make it through each day.”


The Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB) responded to this growing crisis by conducting a monumental food distribution event, delivering an astounding 581,000 pounds of food in a single day. This historic distribution marks the largest in the food bank’s history and serves as a poignant testament to the increasing demand for food assistance.


Waide further emphasized the urgency of the situation, observing that the trend of rising hunger became apparent at the outset of 2022 and continued to accelerate throughout the year. He anticipates that the data for the following year will reveal an even more pronounced increase in those seeking food aid.


Nonprofit organizations and food bank partners, such as MUST Ministries, are witnessing the dire need on the frontlines. Ike Reighard, President and CEO of MUST Ministries, shared their firsthand experiences, stating, “The demand for food assistance in our area has been steadily increasing. In 2019, we distributed a maximum of about one ton of food per day. Now, we find ourselves distributing up to five tons of food daily.”


Reighard attributed this surge in need to a reduction in available resources, as government funding for pandemic-related programs is dwindling, while the demand for aid remains steadfast. He highlighted the compounding challenges faced by families teetering on the brink of poverty, creating a “perfect storm” of hardship.

In 2019, MUST Ministries aided approximately 33,000 individuals. This number has since more than doubled to over 70,000 individuals annually, underscoring the gravity of the situation.

As Reighard pointed out, MUST Ministries has been a steadfast source of support for over five decades, extending help during challenging times. He emphasized the organization’s dedication to providing assistance to those in genuine need, acknowledging that many of us have either experienced such circumstances or can envision ourselves in similar situations in the future.



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